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HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

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HP OpenVMS Availability Manager User's Guide

Previous Contents Index Understanding OpenVMS Security Triplets

A security triplet determines which nodes can access system data from an OpenVMS Data Collector node. The AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file on OpenVMS Data Collector nodes lists security triplets.

On OpenVMS Data Collector nodes, the AMDS$AM_CONFIG logical translates to the location of the default security file, AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT. This file is installed on all OpenVMS Data Collector nodes.

A security triplet is a three-part record whose fields are separated by backslashes (\). A triplet consists of the following fields:

  • A network address (hardware address or wildcard character)
  • An 8-character alphanumeric password
    The password is not case sensitive (so the passwords "testtest" and "TESTTEST" are considered to be the same).
  • A read, write, or control (R, W, or C) access verification code

The exclamation point (!) is a comment delimiter; any characters to the right of the comment delimiter are ignored.


All Data Collector nodes in group FINANCE have the following AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file:

*\FINGROUP\R   ! Let anyone with FINGROUP password read
2.1\DEVGROUP\W ! Let only DECnet node 2.1 with
               ! DEVGROUP password perform fixes (writes) How to Change a Security Triplet


The configuration files for DECamds and the Availability Manager are separate; only one set is used, depending on which startup command procedure you use to start the driver.

For more information about the configuration file setup for both DECamds and the Availability Manager, see the HP Availability Manager Installation Guide.

On each Data Collector node on which you want to change security, you must edit the AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file. The data in the AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file is set up as follows:

      Network address\password\access

Use a backslash character (\) to separate the three fields.

To edit the AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file, follow these steps:

  1. Edit the network address.
    The network address can be either of the following:
    • Hardware address
      The hardware address field is the physical hardware address in the LAN device chip. It is used if you have multiple LAN devices or are running the HP DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS networking software on the system (not the HP DECnet Phase IV for OpenVMS networking software).
      For devices provided by HP, the hardware address is in the form 08-00-2B-xx-xx-xx, where the 08-00-2B portion is HP's valid range of LAN addresses as defined by the IEEE 802 standards, and the xx-xx-xx portion is chip specific.
      To determine the value of the hardware address on a node, use the OpenVMS System Dump Analyzer (SDA) as follows:


      These commands display a list of available devices. Choose the template device of the LAN device you will be using, and then enter the following command:

    • Wildcard address
      The wildcard character (*) allows any incoming triplet with a matching password field to access the Data Collector node. Use the wildcard character to allow read access and to run the console application from any node in your network.
      Because the Data Analyzer does not use this field, use the wildcard character in this field in the AMDS$CONSOLE_ACCESS.DAT file.
      Caution: Use of the wildcard character for write-access security triplets enables any person using that node to perform system-altering fixes.
  2. Edit the password field.
    The password field must be an 8-byte alphanumeric field. The Availability Manager forces upper-case on the password, so "aaaaaaaa" and "AAAAAAAA" are essentially the same password to the Data Collector.
    The password field gives you a second level of protection when you want to use the wildcard address denotation to allow multiple modes of access to your monitored system.
  3. Enter R, W, or C as an access code:
    • R means READONLY access to the Data Analyzer.
    • W means READ/WRITE access to the Data Analyzer. (WRITE implies READ.)
    • C means CONTROL access to the Data Analyzer. CONTROL allows you to manipulate objects from which data are derived. (CONTROL implies both WRITE and READ.)

The following security triplets are all valid; an explanation follows the exclamation point (!).

*\1decamds\r   ! Anyone with password "1decamds" can monitor
*\1decamds\w   ! Anyone with password "1decamds" can monitor or write
2.1\1decamds\r ! Only node 2.1 with password "1decamds" can monitor
2.1\1decamds\w ! Only node 2.1 with password "1decamds" can monitor and
08-00-2b-03-23-cd\1decamds\w ! Allows a particular hardware address to
08-00-2b-03-23-cd\1decamds\r ! Allows a particular hardware address to read

OpenVMS Data Collector nodes accept more than one password. Therefore, you might have several security triplets in an AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file for one Data Collector node. For example:


In this example, Data Analyzer nodes with the passwords 1DECAMDS and KOINECLS are able to see the Data Collector data, but only the Data Analyzer node with the KOINEFIX password is able to write or change information, including performing fixes, on the Data Collector node. The Data Analyzer node with the AVAILMAN password is able to perform switched LAN fixes and other control functions.

You can choose to set up your AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file to allow anyone on the local LAN to read from your system, but to allow only certain nodes to write or change process or device characteristics on your system. For example:


In this example, any Data Analyzer node using the 1DECAMDS password can read data from your system. However, only the Data Analyzer node with the hardware address 08-00-2B-03-23-CD and the password 2NODEFIX can perform fixes and other control functions.


After editing the AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file, you must stop and then restart the Data Collector. This action loads the new data into the driver. (See Section 2.1.3.)

1.3.4 Processing Security Triplets

The Availability Manager performs these steps when using security triplets to ensure security among Data Analyzer and Data Collector nodes:

  1. A message is broadcast at regular intervals to all nodes within the LAN indicating the availability of a Data Collector node to communicate with a Data Analyzer node.
  2. The node running the Data Analyzer receives the message, returns a password to the Data Collector, and requests system data from the Data Collector.
  3. The password and network address of the Data Analyzer are used to search the security triplets in the AMDS$DRIVER_ACCESS.DAT file.
    • If the Data Analyzer password and network address match one of the security triplets on the Data Collector, then the Data Collector and the Data Analyzer can exchange information.
    • If the Data Analyzer password and network address do not match any of the security triplets, then access is denied and a message is logged to OPCOM. (See Table 1-2 for more information on logging this type of message.) In addition, the Data Analyzer receives a message stating that access to that node is not permitted.

Table 1-1 describes how the Data Collector node interprets a security triplet match.

Table 1-1 Security Triplet Verification
Security Triplet Interpretation
08-00-2B-12-34-56\HOMETOWN\W The Data Analyzer has write access to the node only when the Data Analyzer is run from a node with this hardware address (multiadapter or DECnet-Plus system) and with the password HOMETOWN.
2.1\HOMETOWN\R The Data Analyzer has read access to the node when run from a node with DECnet for OpenVMS Phase IV address 2.1 and the password HOMETOWN.
*\HOMETOWN\R Any Data Analyzer with the password HOMETOWN has read access to the node.

Sending Messages to OPCOM

The logical names shown in Table 1-2 control the sending of messages to OPCOM and are defined in the AMDS$LOGICALS.COM file on the Data Collector node.

Table 1-2 DECamds Logical Names for OPCOM Messages
AMDS$RM_OPCOM_READ A value of TRUE logs read failures to OPCOM.
AMDS$RM_OPCOM_WRITE A value of TRUE logs write failures to OPCOM.

To put these changes into effect, restart the Data Collector with the following command:


1.4 How Does the Availability Manager Identify Performance Problems?

When the Availability Manager detects problems on your system, it uses a combination of methods to bring these problems to the attention of the system manager. It examines both the types of data collected and how often it is collected and analyzed to determine problem areas to be signaled. Performance problems are also posted in the Event pane, which is in the lower portion of the System Overview window (Figure 1-1).

The following topics are related to the method of detecting problems and posting events:

  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Posting events

1.4.1 Collecting and Analyzing Data

This section explains how the Availability Manager collects and analyzes data. It also defines related terms. Events and Data Collection

The data that the Availability Manager collects is grouped into data collections. These collections are composed of related data---for example, CPU data, memory data, and so on. Usually, the data items on the tabs (like the ones displayed in Figure 1-5) consist of one data collection.

Figure 1-5 Sample Node Summary

An event is a problem or potential problem associated with resource availability. Events are associated with various data collections. For example, the CPU Process data collection shown in Figure 1-6 is associated with the PRCCUR, PRCMWT, and PRCPWT events. (Appendix B describes events, and Appendix C describes the events that each type of data collection can signal.) For these events to be signalled, you must enable the CPU Process data collection, as described in Section

Users can also customize criteria for events, which is described in Section 1.4.2. Types of Data Collection

You can use the Availability Manager to collect data either as a background activity or as a foreground activity.

Note that for either type of data collection, if you collect data for a specific node, only that node is affected. If you collect data for a group, all the nodes in that group are affected.

  • Background data collection
    When you enable background collection of a specific type of data collection on a specific node, the Availability Manager collects that data whether or not any windows are currently displaying data for that node.
    To enable background data collection, select the check box for a specific type of data collection on the Data Collection Customization page (Figure 1-6). Note that if the Customize window applies to all OpenVMS nodes, the data collection properties that you set are for all nodes. If the window applies to a specific node, the properties you set apply only to that node.
    Chapter 7 contains additional instructions for customizing data collection properties.

    Figure 1-6 Data Collection Customization

  • Foreground data collection
    Foreground data collection occurs automatically when you open any data page for a specific node. To open a node data page, double-click a node name in the Node pane of the System Overview window (Figure 1-1). The Node Summary page is the first page displayed (by default); Figure 1-5 is an example. At the top of the page are tabs that you can select to display other data pages for that node.
    Foreground data collection for all data types begins automatically when any node data page is displayed. Data collection ends when all node data pages have been closed.
    Chapter 3 contains instructions for selecting nodes and displaying node data. Data Collection Intervals

Data collection intervals, which are displayed on the Data Collection customization page (Figure 1-6), specify the frequency of data collection. Table 1-3 describes these intervals.

Table 1-3 Data Collection Intervals
Interval (in seconds) Type of Data Collection Description
NoEvent Background How often data is collected if no events have been posted for that type of data.

The Availability Manager starts background data collection at the NoEvent interval (for example, every 75 seconds). If no events have been posted for that type of data, the Availability Manager starts a new collection cycle every 75 seconds.

Event Background How often data is collected if any events have been posted for that type of data.

The Availability Manager continues background data collection at the Event interval until all events for that type of data have been removed from the Event pane. Data collection then resumes at the NoEvent interval.

Display Foreground How often data is collected when the page for a specific node is open.

The Availability Manager starts foreground data collection at the Display interval and continues this rate of collection until the display is closed. Data collection then resumes as a background activity.

1.4.2 Posting Events

The Availability Manager evaluates each data collection for events. The Availability Manager posts events when data values in a data collection meet or exceed user-defined thresholds and occurrences. Values for thresholds and occurrences are displayed on Event Customization pages similar to the one shown in Figure 1-7. Thresholds and occurrences are described in the next section.

Figure 1-7 Sample Event Customization Thresholds and Occurrences

Thresholds and occurrences are criteria that the Availability Manager uses for posting events.

A threshold is a value against which data in a data collection is compared. An occurrence is a value that represents the number of consecutive data collections that meet or exceed the threshold.

Both thresholds and occurrences are customizable values that you can adjust according to the needs of your system. For details about how to change the values for thresholds and occurrences, see Chapter 7.

Relationship Between Thresholds and Occurrences

For a particular event, when the data collected meet or exceed the threshold, the data collection enters a threshold-exceeded state. When the number of consecutive data collections to enter this state meets or exceeds the value in the Occurrence box (see Figure 1-7), the Availability Manager displays (posts) the event in the Event pane.

A closer look at Figure 1-7 shows the relationship between thresholds and occurrences. For the DSKERR, high disk device error count event, a threshold of 15 errors has been set. A value of 2 in the Occurrence box indicates that the number of errors during 2 consecutive data collections must meet or exceed the threshold of 15 for the DSKERR event to be posted.

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